Was Zak Bagans Acting Irresponsibly By Open His Cursed Dybbuk Box?
This article is more than three years old and was last updated in April 2022.
Last week television ghost hunter, Zak Bagans, opened his cursed dybbuk box in a 'Ghost Adventures' special, but was meddling with what is said to be such a dangerous paranormal artefact irresponsible?
So far this year has been the worst in living memory for many of us, we've been trapped indoors, missed out on seeing the people we love and doing the things we enjoy doing the most. Sadly some of us have had family members die as a result of the global pandemic. The last thing we want is Zak making things worse by opening a box that was sealed for a very good reason - to keep evil inside.
Zak opened the box during the fourth and final episode of the spin-off series, 'Ghost Adventures: Quarantine' despite telling us throughout how dangerous the box is. Given that hospitals were already under pressure due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, how could Zak justify putting extra strain on medical staff should his experiment have gone wrong?
Zak's motives become even more questionable when you consider the fact that he was conducting the experiment merely to make a television show - for entertainment purposes.
In the hour-long episode we were told that the dybbuk box is a "container for pure evil" that houses a malicious spirit from Jewish mythology that's capable of possessing its victims. Zak warns us that "the box may have the power to control thoughts and emotions."
The box, which is safely stored in Zak's own haunted museum in Las Vegas has been blamed for countless sightings of a black-cloaked figure seen roaming the exhibits. Zak says that if you see this figure you will feel like "your soul and your mind has been withdrawn from your body."
The episode featured witnesses talking about their experiences with the box, including tour guide, Virginia Kellett, who was left traumatised after seeing the apparition. We also see a sobbing guest named Brittany Foster, who described her terrifying sighting of the same dark figure.
Part of the show featured a video call with Kevin Mannis, who bought the dybbuk box from the estate of the deceased woman who is said to have trapped an entity from a dark realm inside of it after she accidentally summoned it. Kevin gave the box to his mother for her birthday, minutes after he gave it to her she suffered a major stroke.
Zak asked Kevin what the worst possible outcome of opening the box could be, Kevin bluntly said, "you could die. You could get killed."
Was There Really Any Risk?
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The show makes it out to be pretty serious stuff, so isn't opening the box just for an entertainment show all a bit too risky? Especially at a time when we have enough problems going on in the world.
Well, it turns out there was no real risk after all. Once Zak opened the box all that happened was that he and his team witnessed some unexplained sounds and some voices through a ghost hunting gadget called a spirit box. They also caught a questionable stick figure representing a supernatural entity on a special camera. This was no more sinister, threatening or extreme than the occurrences the team have witnessed during any of their previous investigations.
One slightly more serious incident that occurred shortly after the box was open was that Zak's co-star, Aarron Goodwin passed out. Again, this isn't the first time this has happened and on the scale of things, it's no worse than the three scratches across his back that Zak was left with after their previous investigation. There's also no way of knowing if Aaron passing out was a result of the box or not.
For such a dangerous box that's apparently capable of controlling thought and emotions, it's seemingly pretty easy to control. All it took for Zak to return the powerful entity to its case was him simply saying, "go back into the box, I demand you."
However, this isn't the first time Zak attempted to open the box and last time he aborted the experiment because the rabbi he'd brought in to reseal the box wasn't up to the job, yet this time we know that there was no rabbi on hand. In fact, not even the team's normal production team was allowed inside due to the COVID-19 lockdown, leaving the cast responsible for shooting the entire mini-series themselves.
Zak was all set to open the antique cabinet during a live special over Halloween 2018 but he was forced to abandoned the attempt when Zak lost his confidence in Rabbi Shea Harlig.
Zak had claimed that prior to the show, the rabbi said he understood about dybbuks and could reseal the box, but when he arrived on the night he didn't even seem to really believe demons existed. Zak said in the live episode, "now he's messed this all up, cuz if I open it, he was supposed to reseal it and then he was acting like he didn't know what to do." This led Zak to abort, saying "I'm done with this, get out."
However, the real reason why the rabbi didn't fulfil his role in the show was due to a telling incident that happened earlier in the live broadcast.
When asked what he thought would happen when the box was opened, Rabbi Harlig said, "not that much, I believe that they could have control of you," he added, "it may not be good with your script, but it's not my personal belief." By this the rabbi meant that his beliefs don't really fit with the narrative of the show and he was pretty much politely debunking the box, something Zak wasn't expected as he was a little speechless after and swiftly moved on. So swiftly in fact that the rabbi is unsure what's going on, asking "am I following you?"
This could be taken as further proof that the box isn't as dangerous as Zak and its previous owners would have us believe.
We're not saying the box isn't haunted, or that it doesn't house a demon - we simply don't know either way, but we do think that the dangers of the box have been greatly exaggerated based on what appeared to be a genuine appraisal from Rabbi Harlig and the relatively tame paranormal activity the team encounter after opening the box.
Although the threat posed by the dybbuk box may have been hyped up, the four-part mini-series was one of the team's most gripping and interesting investigations yet. The final episode airs in the UK on the Really channel on Saturday 11th, July. If you've missed any of the series so far, you can watch it back on dplay.
You can watch Really in the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of the Discovery family of channels on Freeview (17), Sky (142), Virgin Media (129) and Freesat (160), plus YouView, BT TV and TalkTalk TV.
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